Holden Village and Outdoor Chapel



    Holden Village Calendar - Erwin Weber - 1967


My sketch of the outdoor chapel in the forest at Holden Village was selected for the Holden Calendar. There is a simple cross fashioned from limbs. The congregation sits on logs surrounded by magnificent trees such as Douglas firs, Engelmann spruces and white pines. Mountain chickadee, red-shafted flicker, the brown creeper, the white breasted nuthatch, the hermit thrush and the cedar waxwing provide the music.

As Dr. Conrad Bergendoff, president emeritus of Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois said, "Is it that you want to get away, or is it to some other place? Is it that you yearn for a place away from noise and smoke, from the commonplace and the routine, from conflict and confusion, from all the news of all the woes of all the countries on earth?

Or is it the deeper desire for a place where mountains raise their snow crowned heads in crystal pure air, or the clear lakes reflect the dark and towering greats around their shores? Or to a place where laughter and kindly voices resound, where joyous song is the dessert of every meal, where you can come and go as you please, choosing the lectures and discussions you wish, or seeking solitude beside a prattling brook on the eloquence of the bubbling waterfall? A place where praise rises naturally from a grateful heart and prayer is a part of the climate? Where you cleanse body and spirit in the steaming sauna and the following plunge in the startling waters of Railroad Creek? Or a sleeping bag on a mountain top where the stars seem just above the branches of the protecting pines?

Then it's Holden Village, in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, that you are remembering, if you've once been there, or dreaming of, if still the experience is ahead of you. There is a village that Christian Faith and hope and love have built. There you will breathe more deeply, see more clearly, sing more easily, and discover the reality of what we believe - that this is God's world and in Christ we live more abundantly."